Help us give nature a home from £3 a month.
Birds by name
Conservation status: Amber
The house martin is a small bird with glossy blue-black upper parts and pure white under parts. It has a distinctive white rump with a forked tail and, on close inspection, white feathers covering its legs and toes. It spends much of its time on the wing collecting insect prey. The bird's mud nest is usually sited below the eaves of buildings. They are summer migrants and spend their winters in Africa. Although still numerous and widespread, recent moderate declines earn them a place on the Amber List.
Swallows and martins (Hirundinidae)
Across UK, although scarce in far N and W of Scotland. Mostly associated with man, found around towns and villages. Feeds on aerial insects and so is most frequently seen in areas of mixed agriculture, near water and in the vicinity of woodland.
They return to the UK in April, often feeding over wetlands for a while before returning to their traditional nest sites, remaining here until September and October before migrating south.
* UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn.
Please note that the map is only intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto